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A Journey Through Time: The Resilience of a 2002 Saab 9-5 2.2 TiD After 600,000 Kilometers

The remarkable story of endurance and dedication behind a Saab 9-5 that defies the odds, proving the lasting legacy of Saab engineering.

The 2002 Saab 9-5 2.2 TiD Wagon, captured in its full glory, exemplifies resilience and durability with nearly 600,000 kilometers on the odometer. This iconic vehicle continues to serve its owner faithfully, showcasing the enduring quality of Saab engineering.

Owning a vehicle for an extended period and racking up an impressive number of kilometers can be a testament to its engineering and the owner’s commitment to maintenance. Marcel Barendregt’s story with his 2002 Saab 9-5 2.2 TiD is one such tale of durability, passion, and a few inevitable bumps along the way. Purchased in 2013 for a modest €2,950, this car has seen its fair share of roads and repairs. Now, after nearly 600,000 kilometers, let’s dive into the life of this enduring vehicle.

The Initial Purchase and Early Years

In 2013, Marcel acquired his Saab 9-5 when it was already 11 years old. The car, bought for a relatively low price, had already seen significant mileage under its previous owner, a doctor who had maintained it diligently through a Saab dealer. Marcel’s love for Saabs started much earlier, in 2001, with his first company car. This passion led him to purchase another Saab, despite its age and the challenges ahead.

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The Daily Commute and Routine Maintenance

For Marcel, the Saab 9-5 was not just a car but a reliable companion for his daily commute, covering 200 kilometers each day primarily on the highway. This routine likely contributed to the vehicle’s longevity, as consistent long-distance travel can be easier on an engine compared to frequent short trips. Despite this, the car began to show signs of wear, requiring regular maintenance and occasional significant repairs.

This 2002 Saab 9-5 2.2 TiD Wagon, with an astonishing 589,600 kilometers on the odometer, heads for an inspection to assess its condition after years of dedicated use. Despite the mileage, this vehicle remains a testament to Saab's engineering and the owner's commitment to maintenance.
This 2002 Saab 9-5 2.2 TiD Wagon, with an astonishing 589,600 kilometers on the odometer, heads for an inspection to assess its condition after years of dedicated use. Despite the mileage, this vehicle remains a testament to Saab’s engineering and the owner’s commitment to maintenance.

Challenges and Repairs Over the Years

Throughout its lifetime, Marcel’s Saab has undergone numerous repairs. From routine services to major overhauls, the list is extensive. Some of the key maintenance milestones included replacing the EGR valve multiple times, addressing issues with the clutch and suspension, and tackling various oil leaks. Despite these challenges, Marcel ensured that critical components were always attended to, prioritizing safety above all.

Notable Repairs and Issues:

  • EGR Valve: Frequent cleaning and replacement due to initial owner’s driving habits.
  • Suspension: Major issues noted by Joep Schuurman, with shock absorbers significantly worn out.
  • Engine and Transmission: Persistent oil leaks and the need for clutch and transmission work.
  • Interior and Accessories: Despite high mileage, the interior remained remarkably intact, showcasing Saab’s quality craftsmanship.
A 2002 Saab 9-5 2.2 TiD Wagon cruises along a serene, tree-lined road, embodying the spirit of resilience and timeless design as it continues its journey with nearly 600,000 kilometers on the odometer.
A 2002 Saab 9-5 2.2 TiD Wagon cruises along a serene, tree-lined road, embodying the spirit of resilience and timeless design as it continues its journey with nearly 600,000 kilometers on the odometer.

The Saab Enthusiast Community

Marcel’s dedication to his Saab 9-5 extended beyond personal use. He is an active member of the Saab community, frequently interacting with fellow enthusiasts. His brother-in-law, Peter, also a Saab aficionado, owns several classic models. This community provided not just camaraderie but also practical support, such as spare parts and repair tips, which helped Marcel keep his car running smoothly.

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The Verdict from Autoweek’s Inspection

In a recent feature by Autoweek’s “Klokje Rond” series, the Saab 9-5 underwent a detailed inspection by Joep Schuurman. Joep’s assessment was less optimistic than Marcel’s, highlighting numerous issues and suggesting that the car might be nearing the end of its roadworthiness. From worn-out suspension components to extensive engine and transmission wear, Joep’s list was long and concerning.

However, this thorough inspection did not deter Marcel. He acknowledges the car’s flaws but remains confident in its ability to continue serving him for a few more years. For Marcel, the emotional and practical value of the Saab far outweighs its financial worth or the growing list of repairs.

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The Legacy of Marcel’s Saab 9-5

The story of Marcel Barendregt’s 2002 Saab 9-5 2.2 TiD is one of dedication, resilience, and a deep appreciation for a well-built vehicle. As the car approaches the 600,000-kilometer mark, it stands as a testament to Saab’s engineering and Marcel’s unwavering commitment to maintenance. While the future may hold more challenges, there’s no denying the remarkable journey this car has undertaken. For now, both Marcel and his beloved Saab continue to drive forward, embodying the spirit of endurance and passion for automotive excellence.


Additional Insights from Previous Articles

To further enrich the narrative, it’s important to consider previous insights on the Saab 9-5 model. This vehicle, known for its robust design and advanced features for its time, has always been a favorite among Saab enthusiasts. From its distinctive styling to its practical and comfortable interior, the 9-5 has consistently delivered a reliable driving experience. As evidenced by Marcel’s story, with proper maintenance and a bit of perseverance, these cars can achieve extraordinary mileage and remain functional well beyond typical expectations.

Goran Aničić
the authorGoran Aničić
For over 10 years, Goran Aničić has been passionately focused on Saab automobiles and everything related to them. His initial encounter with Saab cars took place back in 2003 when the first Saab 9-3 and sedan version were introduced. At that moment, he was captivated by the car's Scandinavian design logic and top-notch engineering, and everything that followed stemmed from that first encounter. Later on, through his work at the editorial team of the Serbian automotive magazines "Autostart" and later "AutoBild," he had the opportunity to engage more closely with Saab vehicles. In 2008, he tested the latest Saab cars of that time, such as the Saab 9-3 TTiD Aero and Saab 9-3 Turbo X. In 2010, as the sole blogger from the region, he participated in the Saab 9-5ng presentation in Trollhättan, Sweden. Alongside journalists from around the world, he got a firsthand experience of the pinnacle of technological offerings from Saab at that time. Currently, Goran owns two Saabs: a 2008 Saab 9-3 Vector Sportcombi with a manual transmission, and a Saab 9-3 Aero Griffin Sport Sedan from the last generation, which rolled off the production line in Trollhättan in December 2011.

10 Comments

  • Isuzu 2.2 4 cly plant… Powerful to see that sort of mileage… Only fault with that engine was the diesel pump ecu failing as it was placed on top of the derv pump where their was excessive heat. They were 1k to replace back then but now can be bought recon for 350 gbp.
    Great to see and hear 600k miles powerful.

  • Isuzu developed the 3.0 Tid which often blew up early in the 9-5 cause it wouldn’t stand the heat and/or high rpms on the long run. It was originally designed as an engine for small lorries.

  • I call it “Opel engine” and 1.9TiD “FIAT engine” 😁
    The latter one is brilliant 👌😎👍
    One of our club members drove 650 000 kms with OG9-5 wagon 1.9TiD and sold it away. Currently the majority of his Saabs are either 1.9-2.0TiD/TTiD like our NG9-5 & NG9-3CV as well 👍

  • to be honest, apart from the 3.0 Tid, I haven’t driven the Fiat or Opel/Steyr engines yet. The 1.9 should be the „modern“ one. More calm, more torque. 650.000kms is just great! 👍👍

  • The 2.2 in these and the OG 9-3 are Isuzus with Saab magic wand over them IIRC they have balancer shafts akin to the old 4 pot petrols.
    I once got 60mpg out of a tank in a 9-3.

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